By James Agberebi:
Nigeria U-23 coach, Samson Siasia, has admitted that his team are in a tough group in the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations after they were drawn against Egypt, Mali and Algeria in Group B on Monday, but promised to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
Siasia, whose team will face Burkina Faso in the semi-final of the All Africa Games on Tuesday, expressed optimism that they will clinch one of the Olympic tickets for which the U-23 AFCON serves as the qualifying tournament.
The top three teams from the U-23 AFCON finals in November will qualify for the Olympic Games.
“For now my concentration is on my semi-final game, but I must confess that this group is tough,” Siasia told the Nigeria Football Federation website on Monday.
“All the teams in my group have a pedigree that cannot be over looked. But I can assure Nigerians that we will pick one of the tickets for the football event of the Rio Olympic Games.”
Siasia appealed to the NFF that his team should move into camp immediately after the All Africa Games so as to get the new players he intends to add to the team blend well with the others.
Speaking further, Siasia disclosed that aside from one or two additions to the defence line he has in Congo, he will be scouting around Europe to set up discussions with some strikers that would add competition in the striking position at both the Senegal event and the Olympic Games proper.